04 Jun ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT RYAN KNEW
The man taking Fashion Week by storm is 24-year-old designer Ryan Taylor from Houston, Texas and creative director of new brand, Ryan Knew. Last Summer he presented his Autumn/ Winter 2016 collection which combined modern street style with high fashion. Ryan is no stranger to the fashion industry having styled the likes of Chris Brown, Wiz Khalifa and Tyga. With a career that is only just beginning, here is my exclusive interview with Ryan on his past military background, his brand and his hopes for the future.
Having worked in the military, what sparked your interest in wanting to pursue a career in fashion, specifically design?
I’ve always had a passion for design, not always in the aspect of clothing but design in general. From set, to installation design has always been the forefront. I fell into clothing from growing up impoverished. Altering garments or even buying certain designers became my armor, or my cloak to cover my emotions with great garments. Fashion just became the defining design; I became known for. Fashion is nothing but great clothes covering ugly emotions I’ve stood by that to this day when I’m creating.
What inspired your latest collection ‘Revolt’?
Revolt was inspired by the blockade of East/ West Berlin (The Berlin Wall). It is a visual representation of the times, the culture and the daily life of German kids who grew up in that period. From the denim workwear to represent the harsh life of East Berliners, to the Propaganda a visual representation of the boiling times to come.
How important is the commercial side of your brand to you?
As of now the commercial aspect is key, but not my most defining factor when I release. A lot of designers are moving away from the schedule of fashion and I believe I now fall into that category. Commercially you want your brand to grow, to be carried by the Giants, to be a household name. But as of now, I’m focused on getting loyal consumers. That’s where many young brands fail they chase a popular aesthetic, and try to attain a certain celebrity not realizing that brands are a lifestyle, so no matter what or who you reach of that lifestyle doesn’t connect neither will your sales. So as of now my consumer base is my focus, and not commercially growing the appeal. That will come when people buy into the lifestyle of the brand.
Describe the men and women you picture wearing Ryan Knew?
If I could describe the Ryan Knew Man/Woman, it would be the person in the corner of every party. That person you know understands what he/she is wearing but not conscious to the social scene around them. I’m a very introverted guy so my clothes are usually my voice, I see those that wear my garments the same way.. Those kids in the corner who have the power to change the world.
In your opinion, what are the important elements of your brand that distinguish you from the rest of the up and coming designers?
These days being you really pays. As cliché as that sounds those that forgot the traditional way of design are winning. Look at Vetements, by slightly altering hemlines and off pairing pockets etc. they have created an identity that others now copy. I believe me never watching or following other designers keeps me in my own lane. Everything I design is from experience, all from some tactical design point in military design. I guess that’s how people see me the guy that makes cool wearable military inspired gear. That’s my lane for now.
And finally where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I’ve always heard to have a five-year plan, but I’ve never been able to fall into that mantra. Five years from now, I would hope to say my brand will be carried, and continued to be pushed to heights unseen, but honestly in five years I may be working on a family, building statues you know getting away from the phase I’m in now. The growing phase a lot of people get lost and say they want to do this forever. I’m not one of those people. Fashion is amazing but there’s so much more to life to design, all this growing phase I’m in now is to one day give my family or those around me a better life.
Without a doubt Ryan Knew is a brand to look out for, and is only getting bigger. Keep a close eye on Ryan Taylor as his talent is undeniably going to get him very far. – I